Benedict XVI Creates Council for New Evangelization

Will Be Dedicated to Secularized Christian Countries

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VATICAN CITY, JUNE 28, 2010 (Zenit.org).- To ward off secularization in nations where the Gospel put down roots centuries ago, Benedict XVI is creating a new pontifical council.

The Pope announced the newest Vatican dicastery today, as he was celebrating vespers for Tuesday's feast of Sts. Peter and Paul.

This council -- dedicated to a "renewed evangelization" -- will be the 12th of the Roman Curia. There are also nine congregations.

"Man of the third millennium also desires an authentic and full life, he has need of truth, of profound liberty, of gratuitous love," the Holy Father said before announcing the new organization. "Also in the deserts of the secularized world, man's soul thirsts for God, for the living God."

The Pontiff cited his predecessor, Pope John Paul II, in affirming that the mission Christ entrusted to the Church is still far from completion, and that it requires strong commitment.

"There are regions in the world that still wait for a first evangelization; others that received it but need more profound work; others still in which the Gospel put down roots a long time ago, giving place to a true Christian tradition, but where in the last centuries -- with complex dynamics -- the process of secularization has produced a grave crisis of the sense of the Christian faith and of belonging to the Church," Benedict XVI observed.

And he announced: "In this perspective, I have decided to create a new organism, in the form of pontifical council, with the specific task of promoting a renewed evangelization in countries where the first proclamation of the faith already resounded, and where Churches are present of ancient foundation, but which are going through a progressive secularization of society and a sort of 'eclipse of the sense of God,' which constitutes a challenge to find the appropriate means to propose again the perennial truth of the Gospel of Christ."

The Holy Father did not announce who will be the president of the new dicastery.

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